Monday, February 24, 2014

Romance Revelry: What Makes It A Good Read

What Is Making us Swoon For These Stories: Imperfections

Many times when you’re looking for a good romance novel we want to take the model of a flawed character, be it a hero or a heroine who is overcoming something.  Now these flaws could be something done to them, or this could be a folly that they made themselves.  Readers like and downtrodden character.  We want a wallflower who finds that she really was beautiful all along, or her snarky demeanor captivates someone instead of her seeming boring.  The educated female, who has seen segregation from her peers, now has something that someone enjoys; her opinion matters.  We can take a hero made mistakes in his past, who can gamble greatly; who enjoyed many women, but now is ready to settle down with his responsibilities.  The adventurer who is injured and come home, and even with his anger and seclusion of his injury, finds love and acceptance.

When we find ourselves with this hero, or this heroine, who is overcoming these types of things we have a progression in their ascension to the desirable person they must become in order to find and accept love.  Reading about a male or female character who is beautiful , or handsome, had a great upbringing and had then everything;  and then found their true love who was just perfect, and they married and had perfect children gets kind of old after awhile.  We really want a character that has been true to themselves or true to their character’s development.  We can accept a character with flaws, but what we can’t accept is huge flaws of a character’s development.  You can’t dramatically change the story line a few paragraphs.  If you had a character and that was angry, and full of debauchery; then he has this sudden realization, all instantaneous like that magically he’s nice and his appearances are pleasing and he’s wonderful and donates lots of money everywhere, then we can’t accept that.  A story needs a smooth progression.  Sudden changes in any character’s development can startle reader.  One page you have Dr. Jekyll, then two sentences later he’s Dr. Hyde in a nice top hat and waistcoat, and then were all in wonder what happened.  If you have a story building that he was a master mind and tried experiments, but then he turned evil, we could have that story progression to explain what was happening inside his character to make the changes we are reading.

Sometimes characters have a vast change in personality.  From a traumatic past they played an innocent maid, when in reality they had a very rich upbringing but the family fell on hard times and someone died.  The loss in place in society caused this new personality to come forth.  To survive this heroine made changes not only to her persona and but also with her interaction with the world.  This changing the female character now becomes this new identity, it can intrigue the reader because I want to know what happens next.  And that’s really the capturing point in any story is in the what happens next.  After having a life change what does the female character do?  After a failure how does the male character overcome his defeat?  From bad choices or bad positions how do characters progress and redeem themselves?  You can’t to make the happily ever after without exploring each other through your own pasts.  Sometimes characters don’t want to repeat history, they want to carve a new future for themselves and their families.

What really makes a character remarkable is a defining point in the story when they overcome their obstacle holding back their progress.  This is when they have that “ah-ha” moment.  They can be struggling over their own fears, tied to their past, frightened by the future, but then there comes a point in the story where they know they want.  When a character knows who they want, and how to get them and the drive to strive for the future pours the story of the reader.  The point when the reader feels they are unable to put down that book because they are at the cusp of the story and  warm feels are about to begin is the highlight to make any romance book.

                If I could only have a highlighter and remember to write down those brief interchanges in the story where the magic happens, and post them on board I could tissue industry in business.  The everlasting stomach butterflies, and smiles and pleasant exhalations seem to fund the romance industry in my house.  Each romance is like adventure somewhere, we get to be at some place and it sometime where something is happening for someone.  We get to feel their fears, to experience their joys, cry at their pain alongside them with every turn of the page.  Sometimes we wish we could be like them, but we have the ability to close the book and put it down for a few moments and breath when the going gets tough, or the romance is too heavy; wait, so heavy or hot, so tantalizing, or not.  We can put it down when we frustrated, or want to slap a character, and then we can come back and experience the story time and time again.  I love a good story that is too hard to put down, where every page captivates me and holds my interest.  When a hero or a heroine is so well developed that seemed to jump out of their story and challenge my own preconceptions or misgivings about them. 

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